Sample CDs und CD-ROMs von PROPELLER ISLAND (Lars Stroschen)
(Akai CD-ROM + compatible, disc 2)

On the second disc, PROPELLER ISLAND'S MODIFIED PIANOS, electronic modifications were applied retrospectively to recordings of a superb Steinway grand piano, using many different effect devices and computer processing. As the original mechanical piano treatments were devised a long time before computers developed their current unlimited capacity, it seemed logical to use today's technology to carry the idea on. The electronic preparations of the MODIFIED PIANOS were done in the same painstaking way as the old prepared pianos, note by note! On disc 2, you will find unique sounds, and the strangest of sound effects for all styles of music, film & TV soundtracks and radio plays. Some sounds are ideal for layering with modern keyboards, others bring to mind electric guitars, and some you will never believe could be a piano!

You may be wondering why some of the samples have effects such as spring reverb added - after all, such units are common in studios, so the effect could easily be added later. The answer is that these built-in effects begin to come into their own when you use the sounds in a different way from standard piano samples. For example, if you transpose the samples an octave down, the sampled effect is is also transposed; a small room turns into a large hall, and the speed of all modulations is halved. Similarly, transposed harmonizer effects produce heavy, weird aliasings. (As you will have gathered, we at Propeller Island enjoy this kind of thing.) Last but not least, it leaves your effect devices free to do something else! With each note modified separately, you will discover a unique quality of sound, especially with the stereo samples. Just one note on these effect pianos can create a highly original musical atmosphere, which will be useful to composers of film soundtracks. It could be the inspiration you didn't know you were looking for!

The original piano (mis)used for all the samples was a 2.10m Steinway model C, recorded in the Berlin Academy of Arts through a Neve desk using a combination of Neumann, Bruehl and Kjer microphones (culminating in 10 hours of single notes on tape).

There are no loops on the CD-ROMs. All sounds were carefully faded to keep memory consumption to a maximum of 32 MB per instrument - there are many 'smaller' pianos too. You will also find mono configurations and instruments with reduced keyboard ranges for samplers with less memory.

Please enjoy the sounds and justify the hundreds of hours of work it took to create them!

Sound design, programming and production by Lars Stroschen for PROPELLER ISLAND, 1995-98.